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3.5 : Why is it important to include a global outlook in reporting?

Free, fair and balanced journalism has always been an important cornerstone of modernity and democracy, empowering people and societies. But the world has changed radically and journalism must adapt to ensure it remains relevant to today’s challenges. With this in mind, global journalism promotes global empowerment and creates the space to debate global issues, problems and solutions. By doing so, it makes societies and communities more resilient and better able to withstand the many crises we face.

Shooting in Sarajevo, Bosna, 2019
Author: Anna-Maria Konova

‘Global north oil company known for channeling its taxes through sovereign tax havens to avoid paying its bills, drills in the river delta of the global south, polluting indigenous lands and forcing people to flee their homeland, cultural heritage and way of life’ is one example of a global storyline.

Journalism is a profession with considerable social responsibility. As the world has become more globalized, journalism needs to adapt to ensure it remains relevant and vital today.

Here is a list of reasons why it is important to take global journalism seriously, partly inspired by Peter Berglez:

  • The world has fundamentally changed. As the old westphalian order recedes, the postwestphalian order is becoming increasingly prominent. To remain relevant, journalism needs to take these processes into account.
  • It is not enough to divide the world into ‘domestic’ and ‘foreign’ anymore. Instead, the world needs to be understood as an interconnected complex of diverse relations and connections, of which journalists and their audiences are an integral part.
  • Global journalism is essential for democratic debate. Besides providing accurate and comprehensive coverage of the crises we face, global journalism promotes empowerment and a more thoughtful, informed public discourse around these issues – something all too often missing from coverage of key issues at present.
  • It supports the development of a more humane and evidence-based policy environment. By allowing us to better understand how the world is interconnected, in particularly the links between ‘domestic’ and ‘foreign’ issues underpinning phenomena such as migration, it enables us to act based on the ‘big picture’, using alternative approaches and views.
  • It makes the audience and our societies more resilient and able to withstand even abrupt changes. Even when the coverage including challenging or difficult stories, global journalism can strengthen understanding and reduce irrational expectations so that societies are better placed to withstand crises. Ultimately, it allows the public to better understand themselves in relation to the world – and to make decisions based on this better understanding.

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3.1 : Why do we need a global outlook?

The challenges humanity faces today and the rapid geopolitical changes taking place around us means that the need to perceive and reflect the global community as a whole is more urgent than ever. With globalization, we find ourselves closely connected to people and countries on the other side of the planet, but the media has often been slow to fully acknowledge that. Journalism with a global outlook – or ‘global journalism’ – could help ensure that media coverage can catch up with this new reality.

3.2 : What is global journalism?

Even though we live in a globalized world, media coverage often fails react to reflect this. Global journalism responds to these shortcomings through an approach to reporting that explores, analyses and reflects on the relations and interconnections between people and events in different parts of the planet.

3.3 : Where does global journalism come from?

The need for a global approach to journalism can be understood as a long overdue reaction to the changing status quo of the world, its shifting power structures and the complex dynamics driving this transformation, rooted in the growing crises we face in a globalized context.

3.4 : The ‘global outlook’: a shift in the perception of reality

A global outlook expands our understanding of the world and our role in it. It broadens the imaginable boundaries of our understanding of the world, changing it from a dichotomy between a domestic versus foreign outlook to a relations-based global outlook. It brings new ways of interpreting and arranging reality. Thanks to these new skill sets, it enables journalists to connect seemingly unrelated events taking place at different continents, in different positions in local, regional, international and other power structures, into one single coherent story.

3.6 : What is NOT global journalism?

Global journalism is not a manual or guide imposed externally on journalists for their enlightenment. On the contrary, it has evolved from within practice and processes in the field. It does not come burdened with predefined morals or assumptions: it simply highlights neglected or disregarded aspects of global politics. It is not in itself corrective, aiming to achieve a particular agenda – it just seeks to accurately reflect the new global reality. Finally, it is not presented as a substitute for either domestic, foreign journalism, but aims to build on the best aspects of both to promote more responsive and far-reaching coverage of the same issues.

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